GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Doc’s Restaurant exists at a special spot in Glens Falls. It’s served fine cuisine for years at the Park Theater, which opened out of a theatre building long-closed and in need of repair. Now, its owners plan to move to another building given a new breath of life – right across the street.
At 15-25 Park St. sits a large building purchased by Miller Mechanical for renovation in 2019. The family-owned construction company had a longer road ahead of them than could ever have been anticipated – but the end is finally in sight. That end looks like two floors of new apartments, and a resaturant and market aiming to serve old and new customers with tastes to match.
“The biggest thing we want to get out is that the existing staff and food are moving across the street,” said Ben Miller, owner/operator of Doc’s Restaurant and son of Miller Mechanical owner Elizabeth Miller. “We’re changing the name and some of the aesthetic in order to fit a new building.”
That new building is in the final phases of renovation. The Millers hope that early fall will be the opening season for a new iteration of Doc’s Restaurant – to be rebranded under the new name “Park & Elm,” named after the streets that intersect at the building’s corner. Above Park & Elm will be 10 residential units, split across the building’s second and third floors.
When it opens, Park & Elm will serve something new. It will offer grab-and-go meals, serve breakfast and lunch, and will operate a market and deli. The Park Theater and the restaurant both operate under the banner of Park Street Hospitality, meaning that anyone attending an event at the Park can expect the same quality catering as ever – now easier to maintain.
“Every time (the theater) had an event of more than 50 people, we had to close the restaurant for the day as well, just because of demand,” said Miller. “The Doc’s space is still going to be there, but it will be utilized in a different way.”
When the Miller family bought 15-25 Park St. for renovation in 2019, the ground floor was divided into 5 commercial units, with two upper floors left wide open, uninsulated and in dire need of work. The renovation project got slowed down aplenty by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chain, as well as workforce issues. The building was once an electrical warehouse, with upper floors used for inventory.
Like any other eatery, the coronavirus footprint was also felt by Doc’s. In 2020, the restaurant sold to-go family meal packages, which endured after things opened back up. That plan let the business serve dinner, cater Park Theater events, and cater to those who didn’t want to visit.
Now, that same change remains in the Millers’ minds. When thinking about how to reach a wider variety of customers, Ben looks to the downtown he and his family have spent years working in. Some local lunch offerings have either moved away from downtown or changed their menus or schedules. That leaves an opportunity.
“I noticed, as someone who works downtown, I miss a lot of the options we used to have around lunchtime. There’s a little bit of a place there where we could offer something.”